Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Media buzz words are publicity gold

Bromances. God’s Warriors. Frenemies. These are just a few attention-grabbing buzz words and phrases the media has latched on to over the past few weeks. Buzz words are a media favorite (and not-to-mention useful PR tool), not only because they make great sound bytes and headlines, but because they spice up evergreen issues like pop culture, religion and girl politics.

Recent movies like "Knocked Up" and "Superbad" have received widespread media coverage all summer thanks to their box office success. Belinda Luscombe deemed such movies as “bromances” in her recent Time Magazine article and set off a lively debate about two movies that Jerry Garretson aptly jokes are “more about broken wind than broken hearts.”

God’s Warriors” made a great title for CNN’s six-hour series on religious fundamentalism among Christians, Jews and Muslims. Although CNN regularly reports on the effects of religion on politics and culture, attaching the term “God’s Warriors” to the series generated a new buzz among viewers, and glamorized an issue that many Americans consider a tired news topic.

You might glance right past a newspaper article with a tired headline that read “Do You Have Friends You Don't Like?” But you might take a closer look if the same article had a catchier headline asking, "Do You Have a Frenemy?”

It helps authors and publicists to think in terms of headlines and buzz words when writing press releases, creating new pitches and talking to the media about your book. Editors, reporters and producers receive thousands of pitches each day and using a buzz word, phrase, or catchy headline is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

For those of you who are still writing your book, now is a great time to start thinking in terms of buzz words—how can you get creative with your topic? Watch how the media covers your subject matter over the next few months and start thinking like an editor. Those of you who are promoting books right now, take a hard look at your press release or pitch. If it’s not eye-catching or newsworthy, go back to the drawing board.

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Blogger Payton L. Inkletter said...

Very good advice Rusty, thank you. We writers must somehow get our song heard above the incessant roar of the background noise.

I am a great fan of humourous (Aussie spelling) buzzy headlines also.

August 31, 2007 at 5:22 AM  

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